The fashion world is shocked. Well, Gucci is. After losing the rights to an important trademark in the UK.
As you may know, registering a trademark is just the first step. Within 5 years (in most countries) you must actually use the mark. Of you don’t, it can be cancelled.
Gucci’s competitor Gerry Weber challenged Gucci’s trademark by claiming non-use between 2003 – 2012. Almost a decade of non-use.
Although Gucci provided sales figures from those years, these did not prove use of the mark in the UK. Consequently, the UK Patent Office ruled the mark to be cancelled for classes 14 (jewelry), 18 (bags), and 25 (clothing, footwear). Gucci is left with class 3 (cosmetics). The only option left: file a new trademark application.
So what have we learned? Use your mark! And, more importantly, if you do, archive use materials (brochures, invoices, advertising materials, etc.). You may need them in the future.
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